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DESIGNING A PROBE TO EXPLORE HOME INFORMATION SYSTEMS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

Elisabeth Davenport (Communication and Information Studies Department, Queen Margaret College, Corstorphine Campus, Clerwood Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 8TS, UK)
Martin Higgins (Communication and Information Studies Department, Queen Margaret College, Corstorphine Campus, Clerwood Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 8TS, UK)
Mark Gillham (Communication and Information Studies Department, Queen Margaret College, Corstorphine Campus, Clerwood Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 8TS, UK)

Online and CD-Rom Review

ISSN: 1353-2642

Article publication date: 1 February 1996

Abstract

The authors are engaged in a three‐year study of home information systems in the United Kingdom. The project addresses cable and satellite, multimedia CDs and paper‐based systems, and considers both supply (many of the companies involved are inward investors) and demand. Our aim is to profile and compare the expectations and perceptions (the ‘dreams’) of both sides. The first phase of the project (January‐June 1995) had led the team into households (some co‐terminous with families, some not) in both rural and urban Central Scotland. The initial visits, with as many members of the household as possible, were structured round an interview protocol covering four main areas: tasks; perceptions of technology; using the machine; the aesthetics of interaction. Subsequent visits explored salient issues which emergedfrom the protocol. Our preliminary findings suggest that the concept of integrated household channels is not being widely embraced by participants in our study who like to keep their technologies separate; that mixed motives (some of them task‐related) lie behind the purchase of systems; and that disposable time is a major constraint on use. We have derived a preliminary description of appropriation patterns: where do different systems fit in perceptions of home and work? of public and private space? of knowledge, information and entertainment?. The second phase of the project (October 1995‐May 1996) will consolidate this framework with results from a larger random sample in the EH12 postal area of Edinburgh.

Citation

Davenport, E., Higgins, M. and Gillham, M. (1996), "DESIGNING A PROBE TO EXPLORE HOME INFORMATION SYSTEMS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM", Online and CD-Rom Review, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 75-80. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb024565

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited